Cancer is hard to cure, with the most common treatment being chemotherapy but that’s highly invasive and harmful to the body. That’s why scientists keep on researching new ways to treat this ailment. Recently a new personalized cancer vaccine has been developed that has shown results to patients with cancers like lung and bladder cancer.
Cancers like these have a high chance of occurrence but not only does the new vaccine show good results but also hasn’t raised any safety concerns as of now. The vaccine has been developed by a group of researchers who presented it during an online meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
The results were obtained from phase 1 of their clinical trial which consisted of administering 13 patients with the personalized vaccine. 10 of the patients had solid tumors while 3 had multiple myelomas.
According to Thomas Marron, assistant director for Early Phase and Immunotherapy Trials at the Tisch Cancer Institute and assistant professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, “While immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of cancer, the vast majority of patients do not experience a significant clinical response with such treatments. cancer vaccines, which typically combine tumor-specific targets that the immune system can learn to recognize and attack to prevent recurrence of cancer. The vaccine also contains an adjuvant that primes the immune system to maximize the efficacy”.
The vaccine was developed by taking the patient’s tumor’s genetics and germline DNA. This helped them identify targets in the tumor and makes use of a computational system called OpenVax to identify which targets to incorporate in the vaccine.
According to Nina Bhardwaj, of the Tisch Cancer Institute, “Most experimental personalized cancer vaccines are administered in the metastatic setting, but prior research indicates that immunotherapies tend to be more effective in patients who have less cancer spread”.
“We have therefore developed a neoantigen vaccine that is administered after standard-of-care adjuvant therapy, such as surgery in solid tumors and bone marrow transplant in multiple myeloma, when patients have minimal – typically microscopic – residual disease”.
She further said that “Our results demonstrate that the OpenVax pipeline is a viable approach to generate a safe, personalized cancer vaccine, which could potentially be used to treat a range of tumor types.”